Most motorists are not accustomed to seeing a traffic signal on a remote rural highway but the experience will become more commonplace in the Brownwnood district as TxDOT maintenance crews take advantage of the new technology of portable traffic signals. Safety is the number one priority for TxDOT. With current personnel shortages and increased summer workloads, it is even more important.
Traditionally, projects that reduce traffic to one lane requires a three person crew - a flagger on each end of the work zone and a pilot car driver. By using the temporary signals, safety is immediately improved since there is no longer a need for personnel to stand unprotected in travel lanes to flag traffic. Because signals are well recognized by drivers, a pilot car driver is all that is needed and personnel can be better distributed to maximize the efficiency of the road crew.
Portable traffic signals are very versatile in their application and can be used in many different situations. They have the capability to be traffic actuated but in an active work zone where a pilot car is being used, the pilot car driver controls activation. Activity inside a work zone determines the cycle length of the signal. Even though portable signals are mounted on trailers, they are governed by the same law as stationary signals. Motorists are urged to slow down and use caution in any work zone.